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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu October 21st, 2010, 4:43 pm

I heard that Gable was so reluctant to take the part because he didn't feel he could do it justice. Thought it was too big for him.

I'd have to go with dinner with Jane Austen and ask her about the two books she left unfinished, and the children her characters had after their marriages.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Thu October 21st, 2010, 5:21 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I heard that Gable was so reluctant to take the part because he didn't feel he could do it justice. Thought it was too big for him.
[/quote] That's true -- he wasn't first choice for the part (that was Gary Cooper, who turned it down convinced the film would be a flop), and he felt that expectations for the role were so high he could never fulfill. He was won over by the large bonus he was given, which he used to get a divorce from his wife so he could marry Carole Lombard.

Leslie Howard didn't want the role because he was tired of playing weak, ineffectual men. He was won over by being given the directorship of a subsequent movie.

[quote=""LoobyG""]Do share the legend Michy![/quote]

The urban legend is that, after a long and publicized search for Scarlett, Vivien Leigh walked onto the MGM set one night, the producer took one look at her with the flames reflected in her face (they were filming the burning of Atlanta which was one of the first scenes filmed), and instantly decided she was Scarlett. The truth wasn't quite as serendipitous as that. Leigh didn't just happen to appear, she had come to America purposely to pursue the role of Scarlett O'Hara (and to be with Olivier). Her agent (who was the producer's brother) took her to the set that night. Although after seeing her he knew she had the looks for the part, and she was put on the short list, she still had to go through a screen test to beat out the other contenders.

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LoobyG
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Post by LoobyG » Fri October 22nd, 2010, 2:25 pm

[quote=""Michy""]The urban legend is that, after a long and publicized search for Scarlett, Vivien Leigh walked onto the MGM set one night, the producer took one look at her with the flames reflected in her face (they were filming the burning of Atlanta which was one of the first scenes filmed), and instantly decided she was Scarlett. The truth wasn't quite as serendipitous as that. Leigh didn't just happen to appear, she had come to America purposely to pursue the role of Scarlett O'Hara (and to be with Olivier). Her agent (who was the producer's brother) took her to the set that night. Although after seeing her he knew she had the looks for the part, and she was put on the short list, she still had to go through a screen test to beat out the other contenders.[/quote]

Ahh, I haven't heard that before. It's a much nicer version of how Leigh got chosen for the part, I do like legends! :) It's hard to imagine anyone ever beating her performance as Scarlett, it must have been meant to be.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Fri October 22nd, 2010, 4:00 pm

Apparently her American agent had seen her perform in London and thought she was right for the part, except he was worried she was "too British." I've never actually seen the movie, so I've always wondered if she managed to lose her accent enough to sound convincingly Southern......

Although, I don't know that in the 1930s they were as concerned with accents as we are nowadays - ?

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Post by Margaret » Fri October 22nd, 2010, 6:36 pm

It's been quite a while since the last time I saw the movie, but her accent sounded Southern to me. I never questioned it and wasn't actually aware that she was British. Nowadays, accents in general seem to be less pronounced than they used to be, presumably because of TV. I know when I used to go back and visit my family in Texas in the 70s, the Texas accents sounded really strong to me; now when I go back, I hardly notice them. Of course, my old home town of Denton is a college town with a lot of students and teachers from all over coming and going, which also probably dilutes the accents. When I visit in rural South Texas, the accents are still pretty noticeable.
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Fri October 22nd, 2010, 8:28 pm

[quote=""Margaret""] Nowadays, accents in general seem to be less pronounced than they used to be, presumably because of TV. [/quote]

I suppose our speech is becoming more homogenized. I know that whenever I hear old recordings -- from the 1950s or earlier -- I am always struck by how different people sounded. American newscasters, for example, all seemed to use the same accent, one that no longer exists. Several years ago NPR did a series of programs on "disappearing sounds," and one of the segments was about a specific New York accent -- that of Franklin Roosevelt -- that no longer exists.

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LoobyG
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Post by LoobyG » Sun October 24th, 2010, 8:46 pm

I always thought Leigh sounded southern in the part, but I've never heard a genuine southern accent in the flesh, so it's possible that it's entirely in my imagination :o

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